NFL unveils business-as-usual schedule

The NFL has released its fixture list for 2020-21, with the season currently set to start at its usual scheduled time despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The season is scheduled to kick off on September 10 – with the Houston Texans playing reigning champions the Kansas City Chiefs – and with the usual 17 weeks of football planned.

NFL executive vice-president of football operations Troy Vincent said on NFL Network that while the league is leaving open the possibility of a change to the schedule caused by Covid-19, at present there was no alternative fixture list drawn up.

So far the NFL’s only concession to the coronavirus is its rescheduling to the US of its five planned international games – four in London and one in Mexico City.

“This is the schedule,” Vincent said.

“We’re excited about this schedule. We do our proper contingency planning but no, there is no other schedule.”

Reports in the US have said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has told all teams to not comment on the possible effects of Covid-19 on the season.

Website Sports Business Journal reported last week contingencies being considered by the NFL include delaying the Super Bowl by three weeks from its current planned date of February 7, and starting the season up to a month late on October 15.

Abandoning the Pro Bowl and scrapping byes for this season were also said to be possibilities.